- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 819 KB
- Print Length: 215 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Pete Alex Harris; 3 edition (8 Sept. 2015)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B013O364BS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #849,343 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Silk Mind (Atlar Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Good characters, interesting story line and even though it's not comedy fiction there are some some laugh out loud lines.
Bargain on Kindle but I'm pleased I got the paperback version. Look forward to reading more.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Silk Mind is the opposite of this. It is as far as you can get from the same tired, hackneyed plots as you can get. It begins as a quirky "something" - you can't even call it epic fantasy, it is so unique. A small band of forest surveyors get called out to perform a series of menial but dangerous tasks by their mysterious superior. Yet it all works. The story is straightforward, the characters are enticing, and the action and dialog is so utterly believable. They say truth is stranger than fiction. This work is stranger than truth.
I am reminded of some works of fantasy I've read which genuinely stood out - John Bellairs' A Face in the Frost, Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds - but the only similarity is that like The Silk Mind, these are truly memorable works. The reader is gripped by the first page by the clear prose, the matter-of-fact plot, and the simple expression. There is no other book like this. It is a completely original fantasy, both in its setup and from what develops.
What does develop, of course, is an international intrigue in Harris's simple little world. We have the usual cast of characters - sinister political figures, mysterious elves, practical warriors, and even an odd love interest - but all of it is drawn against this very expressive, practical tapestry: Something is wrong in the forest. Our protagonists are coerced into investigating, operating much like we would ourselves in their situation, mostly concerned with trying to help while keeping themselves from being killed. But none of this is drawn against the usual loftiness we usually encounter. Even when we encounter the usual figures we expect to find, such as rangers, elves, sorcerers and kings, their actions are not exuded from some high-brow milieu ("This is the way of my people. I must go!") but from very pragmatic, entirely plausible centers ("Should we go?" "I don't know. Are we doing anything else important right now?") This is a tremendous breath of fresh air in high fantasy.
I understand (from the author's notes) that this work was developed partly from an AD&D campaign, and it shows. Yet the author wisely avoids over-abundence of "smarminess" that usually infects fan game fiction. This work simply follows no cliches. Game fiction seems like it is always either throw-away humor, or some tremendous loftiness that thinks it is Tolken's Sillmarillion, or some random adjudication tied up in a remarkably opaque and complex magic system, or a dripping intrigue of political events. This story avoids all these quagmires, and presents something simpler, more straightforward, and in the final tally, more true.
The strong characters, good atmosphere and well-crafted action moved me. Pages turned by themselves as I followed our heroes' exploits. The work developed to unexpected conclusions, in ways which I found satisfying. Of course, I will seek out the next book in the series. I am hooked, and if you are wise you will allow yourself to be hooked too.
Completely original, very satisfying. Well worth the effort.
The Silk Mind begins with our protagonist, Ashlin, who is preparing to resign from his post because it is boring and pointless. He wants nothing more than to become a blacksmith, find a pretty girl, and settle down. When he attempts to turn in his resignation, Dr. Grey ignores it and sends Ashlin and his co-workers on a journey to survey an unusually large badger.
The first clue that readers are given about the Survey's true purpose is when the team meets with the local pastor who sent word about this unusual badger. It did not take me too long to divine the Survey's true purpose; however, there was more going on than I had initially discerned.
Readers discover that the description of the book makes the plot sound simple, but it is not. Behind its simple facade lies a rich landscape, an intricate sociopolitical system, fascinating characters, and perilous adventures as Harris unites Grimm-style fairy tales and fantasy to create a truly remarkable world.
While The Silk Mind is a quick read, it is a complex and rich story that I hope to see more installments of. It is a must-have for readers who are looking for a quick fantasy fix, but are not interested in a long, drawn out epic.